Health Clubs vs No-Frills Gyms

I was always an advocate of a no-frills gym. No messing about, straight in there, no distractions, get your shit done. And for a while this felt like the right thing for me. I weren’t bothered about classes and i went swimming elsewhere – i didn’t swim often enough for the costs to warrant a gym with both facilities. Times have changed however and the grass is definitely greener on the other side. I love my health club so much – rather than just the gym and some low quality classes, well technically there’s two gyms as there’s ladies only gym within the main gym, you have several studios for an amazing variety of classes, you have the pool, the sauna, spa, a restaurant with healthy food and lots of other really nice extras. I also have access to a really cool app where i can monitor progress, book my classes and it gives me free guest passes every month to entice other people with.

Once of the advantages of my no-frills gym was the 24 hour opening times and i did like this – i was known to go to the gym at 4am so it came in handy. Now my lifestyle has changed however the hours of my health club, while not 24 hours, are really convenient to me. I don’t mind not being able to go to gym at the early hours because to be fair i wouldn’t do that anymore anyway.

So i guess my health club is somewhat luxurious.  I know i’m paying more than i probably need to but i bloody love it. I love the exclusivity, the treatment, the facilities – it’s just great. My priorities and the purpose in which i use the gym for have certainly changed over the years but looking back i don’t feel my no-frills gym had the ability to accommodate my needs anyway. My health club however i think goes a long way in helping people with a range of requirements.

Both of the gyms did have free wifi although the wifi in my health club is considerably better, so is phone signal. At my old gym i couldn’t even get GPRS, now i get 4G – although now i actually like my gym and feel comfortable there i often part with my phone – which would have never happened before.

My new gym is a lot less busy but even if it was, it’s bigger and there’s more equipment. The classes do fill up rather quick but if you join the waiting list on the app you often get a text on the day anyway saying a spot has become free. People at the health club appreciate etiquette and drop out in advance if they can’t make classes. The classes themselves are a lot better too. At my old gym the classes were in the middle of the gym in an area you were never sure whether you could use because it wasn’t clear if classes were going to happen there or not. It was a very public podium for classes and it’s not what you want if you want to try something new and don’t want to feel like you’re on an episode of Big Brother. I really like my club’s mirrored studios. They’re really convenient. There is a space on the gym floor where some classes do occur but this is separated from the rest of the gym.

It’s also a lot cleaner – people respect gym etiquette much more and i believe this is driven by the disinfectant sprays and paper towels readily available at numerous points within the gym. Rather than leaving machines covered in sweat people clean the machines after use. You can also use the paper towels if you forget your towel although my health club has actual towels available too. It’s nice to have a manned reception with people on hand at all times to sort any issues or help you with machinery and training programmes.

I use the showers at my gym now which is something i also owe to the cleanliness of my health club. Both my old and new gym were in convenient locations so i could walk home quickly and shower at home, something which i always preferred. The showers in my new gym have all the soaps and lotions however so you don’t have to take your entire bathroom cabinet with you, they have hairdryers and are just overall more convenient. They are also so much cleaner, i can’t emphasise that enough.

My health club also has children facilities – which i imagine is useful. They have a separate part of the changing room and there is a creche/nursery available. I don’t see children running all over my gym either because it is in a separate part – something i’m very grateful for.

So yeah better facilities, cleaner facilities, more equipment, part of a community rather than a DIYer, fun classes and so many other benefits. I definitely prefer a health club to a no-frills gym. I didn’t realise how much i would enjoy the added extras until switching.

In fact i wouldn’t have even considered switching gyms if someone hadn’t posted a picture of one of the gyms in their franchise slagging off runners – they had a massive sign painted on their wall saying ‘maybe you could try running next time… only joking, best save your energy for a real workout’… I don’t easily take offence but it was nice to know what my gym thought of people who run – i assume that was applicable to anyone who does cardio as well so i expect they’ll be removing their treadmills on that belief and just having a weights area.

Anyhow here’s today post. I do appreciate the cheapness and convenience of no-frills gym and i get why people use them. I did for a long time. I also understand some people don’t have the option – I do prefer a health club however, i didn’t think i would, so if it is a possibility for you and you think you might enjoy some of the added extras mentioned in this post, then i’d certainly recommend giving it a try.

Also here’s an extra for this post – i always thought it was no thrills instead of no-frills so there you go. This sentence contributed so much to this post, it was entirely necessary to mention.